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GPs to be 'held to account' for ignoring NICE advice

The Government has indicated it will refuse to bail out PCTs and acute trusts who report deficits this year. Health secretary John Reid said arrears could no longer be written off 'willy nilly'.

His comments came after Department of Health officials revealed more than one in eight PCTs reported a loss in 2003/4.

Martin Campbell, head of resource planning and acquisition, said 41 PCTs as well as 67 acute and mental health trusts were in deficit and appeared to blame inaccurate census figures for some not being allocated enough cash.

He said they had to make a trade-off between adjusting PCTs' budgets each year based on up-to-date population data or giving them the certainty of a three-year funding plan, even if it was based on wrong figures.

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